Harold Jarche in his post titled Small Schools, Loosely Joined makes an interesting pitch to return to the one room school concept, mostly because the tools make it possible:

  • With access to the Internet a one-room school would have to reach out to the rest of the world and not be wrapped in the confines of the industrial school. Schools would have to seek out partnerships and not be isolated islands.
  • Communities of learning online could be developed to link learners in several schools and even in different countries.
  • No teacher would be able to “master” the subject matter, so teachers would become facilitators of learning, which is what they profess to do anyway .
  • Small schools would be integrated into the community and there would be a sense of ownership by the community, not the education system.
  • Most children would be able to walk to school, therefore eliminating busses, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and encouraging exercise.
  • Children and parents could have more than one school to choose from.
  • Sales of industrial school buildings could be used as financial capital for the transition.

All interesting ideas, I’d say, not to mention the effect on the overall financial, taxpayer burden for funding schools.

Reminds me of a good friend who is eschewing the local public school kindergarten for something unique in my experience. He and his wife have banded together with a half a dozen or so other families with kindergarten age kids and hired a Montesorri teacher to work with them in their homes on a weekly rotation. So, you host school for a week then get five weeks off. Parent/hosts help the teacher work with the kids, and what you get is a very safe, supportive, close-knit community of parents and learners who are invested in their kids education.

Not sure what happens next year, however…

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